Quick, easy and healthy garbanzo bean salad

Garbanzo Bean Salad

Kind of like hummus but without the tahini, and with chunks, this salad is easy, quick and healthy. I put it together the other day when I had a hankering for Middle Eastern food, but didn’t feel like making a big deal out of it by going out to eat, or making a feast at home. It tastes great on whole wheat pita and a little Greek yogurt, or alongside a nice green salad. Check it.

What you need: 
1 15-oz. can of garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas)
Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 lemon, juiced
1 glug of good olive oil (about 1-2 Tablespoons)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

What you do: 

1. Add all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and stir.
2. Smash some of the garbanzo beans with the back of a fork, but don’t try to make it smooth. Breaking the beans allows for a slightly more cohesive texture, and lets the flavors get into the beans.
3. Test the seasonings and add more to taste.
4. Serve and enjoy.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

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Tabbouleh

I made quite the mezze the other day including homemade hummus and this yummy tabbouleh from the NY Times. I doubled the bulgur and the garlic and didn’t bother with the romaine leaves which still resulted in a pleasantly herbacious salad.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup fine bulgur wheat
  • 2 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • Juice of 2 large lemons, to taste
  • 3 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (the original recipe says “from 3 large bunches” but I don’t know what they mean. I got one bunch from the store and just used all of that.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (from the garden…)
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped (I used chopped grape tomatoes)
  • 1 bunch scallions (i.e. green onions), finely chopped
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

What you do:
1. Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 20 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and salt. Leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three hours, so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.
2. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with lettuce leaves.
Yield: Serves six as part of a larger Middle Eastern appetizer spread (mezze), four as a salad.
Advance preparation: This will keep for a day in the refrigerator, though the bright green color will fade because of the lemon juice.